A community centre in Bowness is overflowing with donations of household supplies

The magical flow of YYCHelps

A community centre in Bowness is overflowing with donations of household supplies

I watched the water rise, but to tell you the truth I have not been brave enough to see it recede and unveil the muck at the bottom. So I help where I can, behind the scenes, offering up food, clothing, money, and today, a good chunk of my time.

What a beautiful experience, being amongst people who are self-organizing for the sole purpose of serving fellow neighbours. The energy, flow and magnificence of applying common sense rules, circumnavigating bureaucracy, and unhindered service reminds me of the downside of living most of our lives in an over-complicated world.

If you need something, let’s see if we can find it.

If you just want to talk, sit down, take a moment.

If you want to help out, there’s enough work for everyone.

If you bring something to offer, no matter how little or how much, thank you.

That’s how it went down today at the Bowness Flood Support Centre. There was a magical flow – just enough people, a bounty of supplies coming in and going out, yummy food, quiet conversation and strangers turning into friends. We didn’t bog ourselves down in process, protocol, or whoop-dee-doos when well-known officials dropped by. Decisions were made based on need, possibility and sincere desire to help ease a neighbour’s burden. Things felt calm, organized, and peaceful (at least to me).

And you know what – for the most part, it all worked out. That’s the beauty in the beauty of strong neighbourhoods. Things fall into place when you need them to.

Goodnight Bowness. I know you’re tired.

—Janice Iverson is Director of Innovation at United Way of Calgary and Area.

What signs of hope have you seen since the flood? Share your story or insight in the comments below.